Joe Pigott ruined Joey Barton's first competitive game in charge of Fleetwood Town with the only goal as AFC Wimbledon won 1-0.

The pre-match build-up was all about former England midfielder Barton, taking charge of his first game, but the Dons stole the headlines at Highbury courtesy of Pigott’s 60th-minute goal.

Kwesi Appiah and Pigott were both guilty of wasting clear-cut chances in the first half for the Dons with Ched Evans nearly scoring a David Beckham-esque goal from inside his own half.

Evans’ long-range effort flew wide of the right post though and it was all square at the break.

Fleetwood came out fighting with Tommy Spurr forcing Tom King into a fine save after Bobby Grant’s corner fell to him at the back stick.

But that scare rallied the Dons and they took the lead moments later. Ben Purrington’s cross from the left did the damage, Andy Barcham flicked it on and Pigott was on hand to gobble up the chance.

Appiah had several opportunities to put the game to bed but failed to pack his shooting boots.

Grant certainly had, his left-footed rocket crashing into the left post but as the rebound rolled to safety so did Barton’s hopes of a good start as his reign started with defeat.

Wimbledon manager Neal Ardley was understandably delighted with the performance of his new-look team.

“I thought we controlled spells of the game,” he told the club’s website.

“On the first day of the season there is an excitement from the fans, but the lads are quite nervous because it’s that first chance to put your marker down.

"I was worried that we might come out all guns blazing, but lack a bit of composure, but we had great composure.

"We showed the stuff that we had worked on during pre-season and we did it really well. I thought when we got our noses in front we played the rest of the game well and we could have scored three or four."

The Dons are at home to Coventry City on Saturday, August 11, 3pm.